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US Navy Ship Changes Course After Iranian Vessel Interaction

FILE - One of the five military vessels from Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps that approached a U.S. warship hosting one of America's top generals on a day trip through the Strait of Hormuz, July 11, 2016.

Iranian vessels came within 550 meters of a U.S. Navy ship Saturday in the Strait of Hormuz, in what a Navy official told VOA was an “unprofessional and unsafe” encounter that forced the U.S. ship to change direction.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard attack craft surged in front of the USNS Invincible surveillance ship and sat in the water, forcing the American ship and other vessels to go around, the Navy official told VOA.

“It is not safe to do something like that,” the Navy official said. “Just having to go around them in narrow water like that can cause some issues.”

The USNS Invincible did not receive any communication from the small, lightly armed Iranian boats during the incident.

The encounter comes just days after an Iranian frigate came within 140 meters of the Navy ship on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman.

While the ships came closer to each other in Thursday's incident, the Navy official identified the encounter as “unprofessional, but safe” because the ship's crew at least “knew what the other ship was doing.”


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    Carla Babb

    Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Her datelines include Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Korea.